Skip Links
Close Search
Filming at the Sydney Opera House

Frequently Asked Questions

Brand Use, Filming & Photography 

Can I take pictures or film footage of Sydney Opera House [SOH]?

Yes. SOH encourages visitors to the precinct to photograph or film their experience for personal use.  You are welcome to share the memories of your trip to SOH with your friends and relatives.  Any photo or film that you take will be your own property.  We ask only that you get our permission before your image is used by you or anyone else for commercial or promotional use. 

What “promotional use” of SOH images requires permission?

SOH does not approve of the use of an image of SOH (whether photographs or logos incorporating the photographic image or a stylised image of SOH) to promote goods or services when there is no sponsorship, endorsement or other association between SOH and those goods or services. This includes the commercialisation of the image itself.

Examples include:

  • Professional photographers selling photographs of SOH or using photographs to advertise their photography services. 
  • Businesses and organisations using images or logos of SOH to advertise their goods or services when they have no commercial or sponsorship association with SOH.
  • Filming of advertisements featuring SOH prominently or exclusively where the advertised product or service has no connection with SOH.

You may not use the image of SOH to suggest sponsorship or use it as a trade mark (or in the course of trade) in a manner which may mislead consumers into believing that your product or service has an association with the SOH unless you have been granted a licence by SOH to use the image in this way.   

Can I film SOH as part of an advertisement I’m making?

Sydney Opera House will work to facilitate on-site filming and photography requests where it can.

All commercial requests to film or photograph must gain prior written approval from Sydney Opera House in advance. You can complete the application here.

If SOH forms part of the incidental geography (e.g a general Sydney Harbour scene), in no greater prominence than other noteworthy features (such as the Harbour Bridge or city skyline), then the depiction of SOH should not be a problem.

Can I film SOH as part of a television program or documentary I’m making?

Sydney Opera House will work to facilitate on-site filming and photography requests where it can. 

All requests to film or photograph must gain prior written approval from Sydney Opera House. You can complete the application here.

If SOH forms part of the incidental geography (a general Sydney Harbour scene), in no greater prominence than other noteworthy features (such as the Harbour Bridge or city skyline) then the depiction of SOH is permitted.

 

 I took a photo of SOH, are there any restrictions around how it is used?

Personal use of your SOH photos is encouraged.  However, if photographs of SOH are used to sell goods or services not related to SOH, in such a way that suggests that they are somehow associated with or endorsed by SOH, then the use of these images in this context is misleading for consumers. This includes the commercialisation of the image itself.

 

I supply goods and services to SOH – are there any guidelines for using SOH images?

SOH values the commercial relationships it has with our suppliers.  There are guidelines for suppliers who wish to use SOH images to publicise their commercial relationship.  Please contact your usual SOH representative who will be able to assist you or direct your inquiry to the appropriate member of the team.

My business is in Sydney and I want to create a logo which incorporates an image of SOH to identify my business with the city – is that possible? 

Many businesses unrelated to SOH seek to use representations of SOH in their advertising or logos.  Where SOH is the dominant or exclusive subject of those images or logos, people may be misled into thinking that the business is associated with SOH when it is not.

To avoid misleading the public, SOH recommends that businesses seek to incorporate at least two other well-known features or elements of Sydney Harbour in equal representation with the SOH, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Centrepoint Tower or the city skyline as part of their designs or logos.  If you have further questions, please send an email to Brand-Requests@sydneyoperahouse.com and we can provide you with specific guidance.

I’m a wedding photographer and my clients want to have their wedding photos taken at SOH – is this possible? 

Wedding photography outside the Opera House is permissible where the images are for your clients' personal use.  Please remember to conduct your activities on site safely and minimise disruption to other visitors enjoying the precinct. While on site, we also remind you that at all times you are subject to the direction of SOH Security and that any bags or equipment must be kept with you at all times and should not obstruct access or cause trip hazards to others on site. If you would like to photograph inside the house please contact tourismbookings@sydneyoperahouse.com to enquire about our photography package.

Can I use the wedding photos I took of my clients at SOH to advertise my photography services?

SOH understands that it is common practice for wedding photographers to use some of their client’s photographs to promote their services to other prospective clients on their websites and in promotional materials.

In instances where SOH merely forms a backdrop to the wedding couple and only represents a small proportion of the photo, SOH permits the use of its image in order to advertise your services. If you are unsure and require further information, please contact Brand-Requests@sydneyoperahouse.com and we can provide specific guidance.

Who should I contact if I already have a product in market with the SOH on it or its packaging?

Please send an email to Brand-Requests@sydneyoperahouse.com and provide details of your business and product in order for us to assess your request for SOH brand use.

I am an amateur / semi-professional photographer who supplies to an online stock photo library that allows other people to buy my photos for a small royalty. Can I upload pictures I took of Sydney Opera House?

If you upload your photographs of SOH to a stock library for the purpose of sale to a third party, this is considered commercial use. SOH does not approve of the commercialisation of an image of SOH (whether photographs or logos incorporating the photographic image or a stylised image of SOH).

Each stock photo library maintains its own policies with regard to intellectual property. While SOH can inform your library of our policy, we have no control over their policy.

If you would like SOH to contact your stock photo agency to advise them of our policy regarding SOH image use, please provide us with the name of the company and we can follow up. 

I am a professional photographer and I would like to sell postcards, picture books and other merchandise based on pictures I took of SOH – is that possible? 

Any proposed commercial use must first be authorised by SOH.  Please send an email to Brand-Requests@sydneyoperahouse.com and provide details of your business and product.

What process should I follow when coming on site to take pictures for promotional or commercial use?

All filming and photography on the Sydney Opera House site, which includes both interior and exterior locations, must gain prior written approval from the Sydney Opera House. More information about the application process can be found here. Once you have our permission we will inform you of the correct processes to follow while onsite.

My photo contains SOH but also the Harbour Bridge and other elements of the Sydney cityscape – do I need to get SOH’s permission to use this photograph for commercial or promotional purposes?

Where your photo or image places SOH in its geographical context of Sydney Harbour, in equal representation with other elements of the harbour such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city skyline, commercial usage of the image would be permitted. In cases where SOH forms the exclusive or dominant feature, approval should be sought by contacting Brand-Requests@sydneyoperahouse.com

The photo library I belong to requires me to get a Property release before they will allow me to upload photos I took of SOH – can you provide this? 

We prefer to contact your image library directly to tell them about our policy regarding use of photos of SOH. We have contacted several image libraries to date but it is possible that we have not yet contacted your library.  Please get in touch with us and we will try to communicate directly with your image library. Please be advised that each stock photo library maintains its own policies with regard to intellectual property and that, while SOH can inform your library of our policy, SOH cannot force your stock photo library to amend their policy.

How can I become a sponsor of SOH or directly support SOH’s activities?

SOH offers its partners and sponsors a range of benefits and the opportunity to associate your business with one of the world’s best known brands.  Please contact us and we will arrange for SOH’s Corporate Partnerships team to contact you to discuss sponsorship options and outline the many partnership benefits available. 

SOH also accepts donations to its Giving Program

Do I still need to seek SOH permission where my NSW agency or authority has permission from the copyright owner to use a particular photograph of SOH?

Yes. Your copyright permission allows you to reproduce that particular image.  However, that copyright permission does not cover your use of the SOH image or brand for your agency or authority’s official purposes.